A working collaboration between public and private data collection organisations is very necessary to crystalise Nigeria’s tourism data overview, the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker, has said. Noting other veritable data banks used by banks, telecoms companies and airlines, among others, that could be used to crystalise the nation’s tourism data overview, Coker stressed that it should rather “be by alliance and in our common interest than by enforcement. Big data is the new oracle. We need to speak to it to maximise benefits.” Coker, who spoke during a chat with newsmen, commended the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for its commitment to using the Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSA) framework to ensure a more robust and realistic aggregation of tourism statistics in Nigeria. He described statistics as the overview that allows correction of strategies and policies, adding that the symbiotic relationship between government agencies is for the benefit of Nigeria, noting that it was the first time statistics would capture tourism and its relevance to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to him, NBS’ decision to use the Treasury Single Account (TSA) framework “to ensure a more robust and realistic aggregation of tourism statistics in Nigeria is ground breaking. It is the beginning of what GSM did to analogue for tourism. “The DG at NBS is a timely judge of the national data requirements and is on the crest of pronouncements that reinforce our statements that the transportation, hospitality and entertainment in tourism have been big business and needed to be identified and separated.” Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, had told the Association of Travel & Tourism Writers of Nigeria (ATTWON) that the bureau was committed to using the TSA framework to ensure a more robust and realistic aggregation of tourism statistics in Nigeria. Recommended by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the TSA framework, which the NBS adopted in 2015, links all tourism and travel statistics in Nigeria with the national accounts framework before the national GDP is calculated. Therefore, Coker urged stakeholders in the nation’s tourism value chain to synergize and harness the strength of domestic tourism to realise its maximum potentials as a money-spinning industry, thereby improving the contributions of the sector to the GDP.
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